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Huawei's Meng Wanzhou pens letter thanking Canadians on anniversary of arrest

Last Updated Dec 2, 2019 at 9:40 pm MDT


Meng Wanzhou wrote a letter of thanks and explains what her life's been like since she was arrested at YVR last year

Meng was detained on an extradition request from the U.S. over claims Huawei had violated sanctions on Iran

Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China shortly after Meng's arrest; they remain in China

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Filling her days with books and painting, Chinese tech executive Meng Wanzhou has written a letter reflecting on the year since she was arrested.

“With winter approaching, I can see the dense forests begin to slowly turn the hills around me to a deep crimson. The beauty of nature is clear to anyone who looks,” Meng’s letter, posted to Huawei’s website, reads. “It was never my intention to be stuck here so long, but I suddenly find that a whole year has snuck by, and here I still am.”

The Chinese telecom giant’s CFO has been holed up in her Vancouver luxury home, on bail, for much of her time since Dec. 1, 2018, saying she has “witnessed moments of fear, pain, disappointment, helplessness, torment, and struggle.”

However, she said she’s learned to accept the situation she’s now in, and that she is “no longer afraid of the unknown.” Talking about the busy life she led before her arrest, Meng said her schedule often had her feeling like she was “being stretched thin,” and that she often didn’t have enough time to “get everything done.”

“I’ve had no choice but to become a multitasker over the years. This is true of all Huawei employees, though,” she writes, adding she never had the “luxury” to just enjoy what was around her.

“If a busy life has eaten away at my time, then hardship has in turn drawn it back out,” Meng wrote.

In addition to now having the time to enjoy the little things in life like reading a book from cover to cover, or having the time to finish a painting, Meng’s letter also includes a “thank you” to customers and suppliers of Huawei, who she said have stuck by the company and “chosen to trust us, support us, and wait.”

The gratitude is also extended to Canadians.

“Of course I’ve also been deeply moved by the kindness of people here in Canada. Thanks to the kindness of the correctional officers and other inmates at the Alouette Correctional Center for Women, I was able to make it through the worst days of my life. When the judge announced that I was granted bail, the applause in the public gallery made me burst into tears. After a whole night of heavy snow, the security company’s staff were so considerate that they shoveled a path for my elderly mother, filling our hearts with warmth in this cold winter.”

Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on an extradition request from the U.S. over accusations that Huawei had violated American sanctions on Iran.

The claims against her accuse Meng of lying about Huawei’s relationship with Skycom, an Iran-based affiliate, to one of its bankers HSBC. Meng has denied any wrongdoing.

Shortly after her arrest, two Canadians — former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor — were detained in China. They’ve been in custody ever since, despite high level diplomatic meetings trying to secure their release.

Their arrests are widely seen as retaliation by China,, whose relationship with Canada has been tense in the months since she was taken into custody.

Last week, Meng’s lawyers filed documents arguing that what she’s accused of isn’t a crime. Her legal team has said the U.S. is attempting to “dress up” its complaint against Meng, and have asked the B.C. Supreme Court to decline the extradition request.